George Weah and other top sports stars who became politicians
Football legend George Weah has fulfilled what has been known to be an ambition of his since calling time on his football career by winning the 2017 Liberian presidential elections.
Many a sports star have found themselves in a tough position of struggling with the next move after what is a relatively short career at the top has come to an end.
While some would prefer not to completely leave the sport they love by taking up a role in administration and in media, some have decided to lend their leadership abilities to more serious matters by turning to politics instead.
We have compiled a list of some of the more notable pro sportsmen who decided to move from inspiring in the sports arena to leading from the political office.
Manny Pacquiao – Boxer
Short in stature but arguably the Philippines’ most recognisable figure, Pacquiao is mostly known for his incredible achievements in the boxing ring but has dabbled in pretty much everything, including music, basketball, film and even politics.
His career in politics has run concurrently with his boxing career as he currently serves as a Senator in the Philippines.
Arjuna Ranatunga – Cricketer
The legendary Sri Lankan captain lead his side their historic triumph in the 1996 Cricket World Cup – a victory that came at a time where the islanders were considered rank underdogs.
He called time on his playing days in 1999 and decided to lend his sharp leadership skills to cricket administration before moving to politics where he has occupied several seats as a member of parliament.
Ranatunga currently serves as Sri Lanka’s Minister of Petroleum Resources Development.
Also read: Top 10: The world’s longest serving Presidents and Prime Ministers
Arnold Schwazzeneger – Bodybuilder
More famous for his numerous movie roles, the “Terminator” first cut his teeth as a young bodybuilder who dominated the sport before he got recognition from Hollywood and was the go-to muscle bound action guy throughout the 80s and the early 90s.
Imran Khan – Cricketer
The legendary all rounder led from the front as he captained Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992.
He turned his attention to politics, founding his own party in 1996 and assumed office as a member of the national assembly in 2013.
Vitali Klitschko – Boxer
One half of the terrifying Klitschko brothers, the Ukranian’s boxing career spanned over 20 years before he hung up his gloves in 2005 after pummeling 45 of his 47 opponents in the process with 41 of his wins ending in a triumph.
Shortly after he called time on his career, he immediately branched out into politics, running for the position of the Mayor of Kiev – albeit unsuccessfully – but would realise his dream nine years later when he was elected to the seat in which he still serves as the incumbent.
Seb Coe – track and field athlete
The British middle distance runner has, since retirement, occupied several seats in politics but returned to sport and is currently the president of the IAAF.
Jessie “The Body” Ventura – Wrestler
Can wrestling even be considered a sport? Well, Jessie Ventura went from the world of spandex tights, long hair (without much of his own), and unathletic looking physiques to one of suits, ties and more kempt haircuts.
Ventura served as governor of Minnesota during George W. Bush’s first term in the oval office.
George Weah – footballer
Had a long illustrious career as a footballer with notable stints in France and Italy where he established himself as one of Africa’s greatest of all time, before short stints in England towards his retirement.
On Wednesday, December 27, 2017, he was confirmed as president-elect of Liberia after a resounding victory on the polls which saw him win the majority vote in 12 of the West African nation’s 15 counties.
Source: Siviwe Breakfast
#LiberiaDecides Breaking News: CDC candaidate @GeorgeWeahOff leading with 61.5% of votes.
Unity Party candidate Jospeh Boakai 38.1%
11counties finalized their results, 3 to go
George Weah will b next President of Liberia barring any challenges
cc: @ASAMOAH_GYAN3 @africancelebs pic.twitter.com/eq2YOhvrfE
— Oral Ofori (@oralofori) December 28, 2017
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.